Conservation travel can be an excellent opportunity for a career break abroad or a very different holiday - it allows you to experience a completely different way of life while applying your skills to a worthwhile cause.
“So three months flashed by, I saw amazing things, I learned a lot about animals and conservation, but also about myself. I met some great people, shared some wonderful experiences.... I will get another job, and in the meantime I have memories that will endure for a lifetime. If you reading this and are on the cusp of taking the plunge, just do so.” Lucy Marris
What is a Career Break or Sabbatical?
A career break or sabbatical allows you to take an extended leave from work - usually 2-6 months - with the option of returning to your previous position at the end of it. Some employers offer a career break or sabbatical scheme as a general perk to employees, or as a way of dealing with a situation of being temporarily overstaffed. Other employers offer it on the condition that employees use the sabbatical to gain new skills and further personal development. If your employer does not yet offer a career break or sabbatical scheme, it is always worthwhile suggesting it!
Why join a conservation project during a career break?
Many people opt to take a career break to get a fresh perspective on things and conservation travel abroad can open your eyes to a completely different way of life. Compared to just taking a two week holiday, a sabbatical allows you the time to experience a country “from the inside”. Conservation travel lets you do just that by becoming directly involved, working alongside local people and making a valuable contribution. Joining a worthwhile project in your career break can present you with rewarding challenges, as you adapt to a new environment and learn skills you would never have imagined.
Which projects are suitable?
African Conservation Experience work with a range of different projects and most of them are good options for a career break abroad or a conservation holiday. What it really comes down to is what you are looking for. If you are just looking for a “holiday with a difference” rather than an extended project experience, you could sign up for a two week Game Ranger Experience or the Okavango Wildlife & Wilderness Expedition. These programmes are also an excellent way to start an extended experience at one of the other projects. They’ll give you a fantastic foundation knowledge which will enrich your overall experience.
For longer conservation travel breaks, you could join any of the Wildlife Research & Management or Wildlife Care & Rehabilitation projects. The projects all vary in their set up and living conditions - some of them can be quite rough and basic. Our "Rhino Rating" will give you an indication of how challenging each project is. If this is an important consideration for you, chat to one of our team about what your needs and expectations are and we’ll advise you on which project we think would suit you best.
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